Franz Josef Glacier
26.03.2016 - 26.03.2016
We left Haast today in overcast conditions - a lot better than expected - we are on the West Coast of the South Island after all.
Our first stop was the Knights Point Lookout - looking out over the Tasman Sea to Tasmania 1700kms away.
The road was one of those lovely ones with views around every sweeping corner.
The lookout platform was closed due to storm damage - Harold was not bothered by that, he found his own lookout point.
Next stop was Lake Paringa where the speed boats were having a good time. (note how low the clouds are!)
We stopped at Fox Glacier (village) for lunch. Tourists everywhere, many not happy as helicopter rides and glacier walks have been cancelled due to cloud cover making visibility impossible.
Jo on a mound trying to see her first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier - looking very "Alien"
We arrived at the village of Franz Josef in glorious sunshine - imagine that !!
Franz Josef Glacier is a World Heritage listed site. The Glacier is 12kms long and was named after Emperor Franz Josef 1st of Austria by the German explorer Julius von Haast in 1865.
This Glacier has been receding and advancing since he 1880's but rapidly receding since 2008. It was once visible from the Church windows on the outskirt of town - now not visible at all from that spot
We walked out along the edge of Fox River toward the Glacier. The river is very gray and flowing rapidly due to recent rains.
Occasionally a snow covered peak appeared in the clouds.
Part of the walk was along a beautiful rain forest track -
We walked down to Peter's Pool for an absolutely stunning view up the valley of Franz Josef Glacier reflecting on the Pool.
This one is not upside down (reflections were amazingly clear)
On the way back we got a glimpse again - peeping through a break in the clouds - stunning !!
Back at the village with very tired legs after our 10km round trip we met up with Harold and Jo, only to discover they had arrived back at the same time even though they walked up to the Glacier viewing point ( 2kms further) They cheated and hitched a ride part of the way back !!